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Cree's 60W replacement LED is the bulb to beat

The Cree 60W Replacement LED offers unmatched value, high efficiency, and a 10-year warranty.

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Ry Crist
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Ry Crist

Senior Editor / Reviews - Appliances

Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, and home networking.

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2 min read

Bulb technology has taken some big strides in recent years, leading to higher quality lights at increasingly affordable prices. Our current favorite among this new generation is the Cree 60W Replacement LED Bulb. With a light output of 800 lumens coming from just 9.5W of energy usage, the Cree bulb is a legitimate replacement for 60W incandescent bulbs, and one of the most efficient household LEDs currently available.

Check out Cree's 60-watt Replacement LED (pictures)

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It's also comparatively affordable, with a retail price of $9.97 per bulb. That might seem steep next to the buck or so you'll spend on an incandescent, but given that Cree bulbs are rated to last 25 times longer than an incandescent (over 20 years at 3 hours per day) and covered by a 10-year warranty, the price definitely seems right. For comparison, the 60W replacement LED from Utilitech Pro, costs around $15 per bulb, and comes with a 5-year warranty.

The pricing gets even more attractive if you live in a region that subsidizes high efficiency lighting, as Cree's 60W replacement is Energy Star certified. This qualifies it for instant utility rebates in those parts of the country, pushing the cost even lower. According to a representative from Home Depot, where Cree bulbs are sold exclusively, over 400 stores carry the bulbs at these discounted rates.

On the left, Cree's 9.5W LED. On the right, the 60W incandescent it's designed to replace. Colin West McDonald/CNET

Cree's bulb glows at a low color temperature of 2700K, putting it on the same end of the spectrum as your common incandescent bulb. The "soft white" variety of the bulb (pictured above) has a noticeably yellow quality to it, but if you're accustomed to the warm tones of incandescent bulbs, then you should like what you see. Consumers looking for something more neutral toned will be happy to know that Cree has a "daylight" variety of the 60W replacement that features a whitish color temperature of 5000K.

Like most LEDs, Cree bulbs rely on metal heat sinks in order to keep the bulb cool, which accounts for the additional bulk around the base of the bulb. This also means that Cree's bulbs are probably heavier than you're used to, weighing in at 3.8 ounces. Incandescent bulbs, by comparison, typically weigh less than an ounce.

Cree 60W replacement LEDPhilips SlimStyle LED
Lumens 800800
Watts 9.510.5
Lumens/Watt 84.2176.19
Yearly Energy Cost $1.14$1.26
Lifespan 25,000 hours25,000 hours
Color Temperature 2700K2700K
Directionality OmnidirectionalOmnidirectional
Dimmable YesYes
Energy Star Certified YesSubmitted
Warranty 10-year3-year
Retail Price $9.97$9.97

If the weight of your bulb is a concern, you might be interested in checking out the Philips SlimStyle LED. It features an innovative, flattened design that eliminates the need for heat sinks altogether, and weighs much less than Cree bulbs.

If you like what you see from Cree, but you're looking for a more professional level of light quality and color rendering, then take a look at the Cree 60W TW Series LED. For additional lumens, check out Cree's 75W or 100W replacements.